Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Department of Education and Skills
Question 163: To ask the Minister for Education and Skills, further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 194 to 198, inclusive, of 17 May 2011, if he has received a detailed analysis from Bus Éireann relating to the impact of changes in the school transport scheme referred to in those replies; if not, when he will expect the analysis; and his plans to publish that analysis. [20771/11]
The detailed analysis relating to changes in the 'Closed School Rule' has been initiated by Bus Éireann and will draw on the final data in relation to school transport requirements in September 2011. Given this fact, I do not expect to have the final details for some weeks yet.
These changes are not due to be implemented until September 2012 and as detailed consideration and assessment will be required it will be some time before this work is completed. In the meantime, Bus Éireann has identified a number of services that will be withdrawn from the commencement of the 2011-2012 school year. In these cases the number of applications received from eligible pupils has fallen below the minimum number required to retain a school transport service. Bus Éireann is continuing to monitor the situation and some services may be restored if late applications-payments are received. The list of the services in question is available on my Department's website.
As is currently the position, families of eligible pupils for whom there is no school transport service available may apply for the remote area grant towards the cost of making private transport arrangements.